September 20, 2003


Another Day, Another Fight (Dotty Lynch, Douglas Kiker, Steve Chaggaris and Clothilde Ewing, Sept. 18, 2003, CBS News)

John Kerry and Howard Dean were at it again on Wednesday over whether to repeal all of Bush’s tax cuts. The latest row came after Howard Dean told a New Hampshire college student that he favored rolling back all of Bush’s tax cuts, saying the cuts left little money for grants and loans to pay tuition costs, according to the AP.

Enter the Kerry camp. “The problem with this economy is not that the middle class is making out like bandits,” the Kerry camp responded. “What George Bush has done to the middle class is wrong. And, unfortunately, what Howard Dean wants to do is wrong for our middle class families as well.”

Kerry has called for repealing tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 a year while maintaining the child tax credit and marriage tax penalty. Howard Dean on the other hand has called for repealing all of the Bush tax cuts to pay for health care, homeland security and jobs. (Dean said earlier this month that his campaign is taking a look at re-vamping their approach
on the middle class tax cut issue, but no new plan has to date been released.)

Apparently if you say something often enough you make yourself believe it. So, Democrats, after twenty-five years criticizing the Reagan tax cuts and three years criticizing George Bush's, have convinced themselves that being pro-taxes is good turf on which to fight out an election. That's certainly true in their primaries, but it's going to be deadly in the general.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 20, 2003 8:22 AM

The most pressing difficulty for most of the Democrats and the tax issue is that the far left is totally removed from taxation and its impact. MoveOn and their ilk certainly say they oppose Republican economic policies, but that is not what drives them. Ditto for Sharpton, Kucinich, Ms. Braun, and goofy Graham. Kerry and Edwards and Lieberman and Gephardt will claw each other over the same 5%-10% of the primary pool until they all drown in their own blood. Dean can remain above it all, especially if the stalking pony continues to self-destruct in front of the camera. And Bush doesn't have to do a thing except tend to his job and watch the tide rise.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 20, 2003 8:52 PM


That's always been an incumbant's advantage, facing an already bloodied opponent.

I've been thinking a bit about the Dem field, and I've concluded that the only two people who stand a chance against Bush are Lieberman and Kerry.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 20, 2003 10:04 PM

Michael - that may be true but it appears neither Lieberman or Kerry will get the nomination. And I think even if they did Bush would win comfortably (vs Lieberman) or by a large amount (vs Kerry - northeast liberal)

Posted by: AWW at September 21, 2003 1:13 AM

Pro-tax rhetoric can be popular in gaining the
democratic nomination when you play on the
resentments of powerful interest groups.

The problem is nationally it's a total loser of
a policy.

Orrin when was the last time a candidate got elected after "saying" they would raise taxes?

Posted by: J.H. at September 22, 2003 9:32 AM
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